Friday, November 27, 2015

This two-pager details the results of a brief science assessment by a subgroup of the NOAA Drought Task Force looking at the relationship between El Niño and the California drought. The report finds that impacts of El Niño on California winter precipitation are likely to be greater in late winter than early winter, Southern California has a stronger chance of wet conditions than northern California, and in case of a very strong El Niño heavy precipitation is more likely across the entire state.Click here to learn more...


Lead: Marty Hoerling, NOAA ESRL

Co-Lead: Mark Svoboda, University of Nebraska, Drought Mitigation Center

Co-Lead: Eric Wood, Princeton University

Co-Lead: Randy Koster, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center



This Drought Task Force is follow-up to the first group, which was established in October 2011 and ran until September 2014. The overall goals of the NOAA Drought Task Force are to achieve significant advances in understanding and in the ability to monitor and predict drought over North America. The Task Force is an initiative of NOAA’s Climate Program Office Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) program. The research results are expected to help advance basic understanding of drought mechanisms, official national drought products, the development of early warning systems by the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), and experimental drought monitoring and prediction activities and tools for operational and service purposes as part of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction's (NCEP) Climate Test Bed. The Task Force will coordinate with other relevant national and international efforts including the emerging National Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) capabilities, and the international effort to develop a Global Drought Information System (GDIS).

This Drought Task Force started it's activities in October 2014 and will have a duration of three years. 




Research Objectives

In the following we describe the issues underlying our key research objectives in more detail.


News & Events

MAPP Webinar Series: California Drought: ENSO Implications and Operational Outlook

Monday, September 28, 2015
The NOAA CPO Modeling, Analysis, Prediction, and Projections (MAPP) program hosted a webinar on the topic of California Drought: ENSO Implications and Operational Outlook on Monday, September 28, 2015. The announcement is provided below; you are invited to remotely join the session.

OAR Science Integral to Understanding and Predicting California Drought

Monday, April 27, 2015
NOAA OAR played a significant role in the recently-convened AGU Chapman Conference on the California Drought, held in Irvine, California during April 20-22.

Drought Task Force awarded Silver Medal

Monday, December 22, 2014
The Climate Program Office congratulations the Drought Assessment Team, which was awarded a Group Silver Medal for Scientific/Engineering Achievement for their work assessing the origins of the 2012 Central Plains Drought. The group includes CPO’s Modeling, Analysis, Predictions and Projections (MAPP) Program and the Drought Task Force.

Researchers offer new insights into predicting future droughts in California

Monday, December 08, 2014

This NOAA Drought Task Force/NIDIS report details the results of an extensive multi-research-group analysis of the causes and predictability of the drought. The report finds that the exceedingly warm and dry conditions that caused the drought were due to a high pressure ridge off the west coast of the United States influenced heavily by anomalous sea surface temperatures. These influences are attributed to natural variability.

Drought Task Force Special Collection on Advancing Drought Monitoring and Prediction now available

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
This special collection of the Journal of Hydrometeorology focuses on scientific research to advance the U.S.'s capability to monitor and predict drought, including the development of new data and methodologies. The results presented in this issue represent the outcomes of research in large part funded by NOAA's Modeling, Analysis, Predictions and Projections (MAPP) program, also leveraging other U.S. agencies' investments, and coordinated within the framework of the MAPP Drought Task Force.

The Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) Program's mission is to enhance the Nation's capability to understand and predict natural variability and changes in Earth's climate system. The MAPP Program supports development of advanced climate modeling technologies to improve simulation of climate variability, prediction of future climate variations from weeks to decades, and projection of long-term future climate conditions. To achieve its mission, the MAPP Program supports research focused on the coupling, integration, and application of Earth system models and analyses across NOAA, among partner agencies, and with the external research community.

Learn more...

Download our program brochure (pdf). 

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